A view of university reform endeavour in West Germany since 1945
This study is a view of attempts since 1945 to reform the West German university. It covers the years of reconstruction after the war, the introduction of newer universities and the eventual enacting of a federal framework law in the late seventies. It is argued here that the reforms undertaken have been characteristically 'German and in the first part of this study an attempt is made to establish an idealtypical model of national character. In order to make a critical synthesis of German character some of Hegel's writing is used. As a model for comparison the Humboldtian university has been chosen: an elite institution, where scholarship was freely pursued for its own sake in an atmosphere of solitude. The imposition of mass enrolments on essentially elite universities led to a range of demands with which the universities were unable to cope without fundamental changes. Newer institutions, the founding of comprehensive universities and a proliferation of individual state laws led to the Framework Act for Higher Education. The Act is considered here as ultimate reforming legislation. Reform endeavour is examined against a background of the Humboldtian university and interpreted in the light of German national character.